Michael Wilson

  • Ceal Floyer, Plughole, 2017, video projection, color, sound, 3 minutes 53 seconds.

    Ceal Floyer

    Ceal Floyer shares with a handful of her contemporaries, such as Martin Creed and Gavin Turk—all three emerged in London during the early 1990s heyday of the YBAs—a wry post-Conceptualist mode that edges consciously ever closer to non-art, to simply merging with the fabric of everyday life. But while Creed has inherited the interest of the original Conceptualist tendency toward systems and ritual, and Turk the movement’s preoccupation with questions of authorship, Floyer leans in a more programmatically minimal direction. In her fourth appearance at this gallery, the artist continued

  • View of “Evan Holloway,” 2017. Photo: Steven Probert.

    Evan Holloway

    Still indelibly associated with Los Angeles, sculptor Evan Holloway broke through in the late 1990s by combining high-modernist form with subcultural and mundane imagery, manifesting a nimble strand of post-Pop that revealed the clear influence of his former teacher Charles Ray. But while Holloway’s artistic lineage is readily apparent, a certain lightness of touch continues to set him apart from his predecessors and extend his influence beyond the West Coast. Holloway is that rare artist who can address the state of the natural world without preaching, and the condition of the built environment

  • Vik Muniz, Buttons (L), Handmade, 2016–, mixed media, 73 3/8 × 49 1/2". From the series “Handmade,” 2016–.

    Vik Muniz

    It’s no great challenge to name recent exhibitions in New York that have drawn their power from expert illusionism. One featuring Vija Celmins’s obsessive conjurings of the night sky and ocean surface, for example, coincided with another presenting Matt Johnson’s painted carved-wood simulacra of packaging materials and studio detritus. Our appetite for near-exact copies of extant objects and images—from the sublime to the banal—appears as powerful as ever. Vik Muniz is an artist for whom precise representation has long been important as both strategy and theme, specifically as a way

  • Left: Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak with Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. Right: Swoon and team at Pearly's Beauty Shop.
    diary April 05, 2017

    Play Ball

    ANNE PASTERNAK’S FIRST COUPLE OF YEARS as director of the Brooklyn Museum have been interesting ones, though not always in the sense she might have preferred. A few short months into her tenure, the firebrand former head of Creative Time caught heat from protesters for renting out the space to the Sixth Annual Brooklyn Real Estate Summit. It was a decision they saw—with some justification—as incompatible with the institution’s commitment to local audiences in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood. Following intense negotiation, another event, the Brooklyn Community Forum on Anti-Gentrification and

  • Matthew Buckingham, Celeritas, 2009, screen-printed letters on chalkboard enclosed in wooden cabinet, natural light, 27 × 22 × 4". From “January Show.”

    “January Show”

    Back in 2008, on what now seems like the cusp of a fleeting golden age, the gossip blog How’s My Dealing? boasted a section devoted to the casualties of for-profit cut-and-thrust. DeathWatch collated advance reports of the closing of various enterprises, and reading it now induces twinges of nostalgia for such outfits as Bellwether, Roebling Hall, and Rivington Arms, as well as for much-missed individuals such as the late, great Daniel Reich. As the depth of feeling attached to the list demonstrates, the role played by commercial galleries is far more than purely financial; their influence over

  • Matt Johnson, Untitled (Amazon Box), 2016, carved wood and paint, 23 × 23 × 17".

    Matt Johnson

    Matt Johnson operates in broadly the same arena as his onetime tutor Charles Ray, producing highly polished work that makes the everyday strange. For his second solo exhibition at this gallery, the New York–born, Los Angeles–based artist presented an array of painted carved-wood sculptures distinguished by a truly extraordinary degree of physical verisimilitude. Reaching rather strenuously for higher meaning, the press release describes without apparent self-consciousness the ways in which “these simple moments of dispossession become the generators of their own poiesis,” but somehow glosses

  • Jonathan Meese, Fort d’EVOLUTIONSKNOXOZ de ZARDOZEDADADDY 2 (ERZ JOHNNY WAYNE IS DADDY COOLISMEESE), 2016, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Stan Narten.

    Jonathan Meese

    Inspired by the singular if unfashionable vision of Franz Erhard Walther, under whom he studied at Hamburg’s Hochschule für Bildende Künste in the late 1990s, Jonathan Meese has developed a self-consciously grandiose vision of “total art” that continues to shape his output and its reception. This exhibition, “DR. TRANS-FORM-ERZ,” gathered seventy-odd drawings made by the German artist over the past twenty years or so, but only scratched the surface of his expansive and deliberately contrarian practice. A scattershot installation of works on paper in the gallery’s ground-level space was paired

  • Denzil Forrester, LITTLE SHAKA, 1985, oil on board, 46 1/2 × 30 1/4".

    Denzil Forrester

    I have an enduring memory of an early-1990s set by legendary dub reggae DJ Jah Shaka at the North London club the Rocket that garnered the performer all the more respect for his stubborn reliance on a single turntable: no hyperactive cutting and scratching here. Shaka’s simple, unhurried approach signaled absolute confidence in a perfect selection of tracks, the effect of which was immediate and immersive. The aural space that dub establishes through the use of echo, reverb, and other effects—Claude Debussy’s oft-quoted line about music residing in the space between the notes is nowhere

  • Hugh Scott-Douglas, Boomerang, 2016, ink-jet print and resin on canvas, 80 × 53".

    Hugh Scott-Douglas

    When British artist Rebecca Moss boarded the container ship Hanjin Geneva last summer to begin a “traveling” residency arranged by Access Gallery in Vancouver, she expected to arrive in Shanghai twenty-three days later. But after the craft’s operator, the Seoul-based Hanjin Shipping Company, went bust a mere week into the voyage, Moss ended up in Tokyo instead, the Geneva having been denied access to its intended port amid worries that docking fees would go unpaid. The artist made it onto dry land just a couple of days later than planned, but the crew members of numerous other Hanjin ships

  • Jaya Howey, AR141 Introduction, 2016, oil on canvas, 45 1/4 × 35 3/8".

    Jaya Howey

    Like many (I’d wager most) “professional” artists, Jaya Howey is also a teacher. But while the tendency among his contemporaries is to compartmentalize their paired roles out of an unstated concern that the prosaic realities of the latter will tarnish the mystic aura of the former, Howey used this exhibition to dissolve the barrier between them. Although the past ten years have seen the emergence of art-as-pedagogy as a fully fledged subgenre—think, to pick one historically aware example, of the Bruce High Quality Foundation’s riffs on Beuys’s chalkboards—it hasn’t consistently focused

  • View of “Nancy Shaver,” 2016. Photo: Adam Reich.

    Nancy Shaver

    Though not billed as a group exhibition, “Dress the Form” contained multitudes, featuring contributions from nearly thirty individual artists alongside numerous collaborative and found efforts. In an exuberantly busy installation inspired in part by the catholic formalism of Henry, her antique shop in Hudson, New York, coordinating artist Nancy Shaver endeavored to further collapse the differences between professional and amateur, conceptual and formal, and—especially—functional and decorative. Shaver intended that the show’s objects be considered for their immediately apparent qualities

  • Martí Cormand, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, picture of a woman/Adolf Ziegler, study of Hertha, 2016, diptych, graphite on paper, each 12 × 8 1/2".

    Martí Cormand

    In 2010, workers beginning the construction of a new subway station in front of Berlin’s city hall made a series of unexpected discoveries. First, they came across the remains of the city’s original hall, dating back to 1290. Then they found something more recent but equally extraordinary: eleven early-twentieth-century sculptures missing since World War II. All the works, by artists including Otto Freundlich, Naum Slutzky, and Marg Moll, were on the Nazis’ “un-German” blacklist; several had also been included in “Entartete Kunst” (Degenerate Art), the notorious 1937 touring exhibition commissioned